- Category : 1913-births
- Type : ME
- Profile : 3/6 - Martyr / Role Model
- Definition : Split - Small (30,57)
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Unexpected 2
American stage and film actor best known for his villainous performances in films such as I Wake Up Screaming (1941) and The Lodger (1944). He was a popular actor until his early death at the age of 31.
Cregar's screen career began in 1940 working as an extra in films. By 1941, he had signed a film contract with 20th Century Fox. Cregar quickly rose to stardom, appearing in a variety of genres from screwball comedy to horror.
Cregar became one of filmdom's top "heavies" — both figuratively and literally. Seldom weighing less than 300 pounds (136 kg) throughout his adult life, Cregar became obsessed with his weight.
In 1943, David Bacon, a young actor with whom Cregar had been having an affair, was knifed to death, according to accounts in the press, which also published pictures of Cregar, calling him "such a good friend" of the victim. This prompted studio executive Darryl F. Zanuck to arrange for an article in Silver Screen magazine to link Cregar romantically with Dorothy McGuire, among others, and to report that, despite his weight, the actor was considered sexy by many women.
Cregar followed a crash diet for his role in Hangover Square (which included prescribed amphetamines), placing a strain on his system, resulting in severe abdominal problems. He underwent surgery in December 1944. It was intended that Cregar's next film would be Les Misérables, directed by John Brahm, and Billy Rose wanted to star him on Broadway in Henry VIII. A few days after surgery, Cregar had a heart attack and was rushed to the Good Samaritan hospital in Los Angeles. He rallied briefly when put in an oxygen tent, but died at 4:15 PM on 9 December, aged 31.
On 8 February 1960, Cregar received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his contributions to the motion pictures industry.